The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to release a detailed handbook on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to provide guidance and support as interest in digital currencies grows.
The interest in central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) has reached an unprecedented level, leading to an increased demand for direction from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In response, the IMF plans to introduce a CBDC handbook, as revealed by deputy managing director Bo Li during a recent speech.
Recognizing the urgency to support central banks in their CBDC endeavors, the IMF has collaborated with nearly 30 countries seeking assistance over the past two years, and has been contacted by more than 40 countries overall. Li emphasized the importance of CBDC capacity development to prevent a digital divide.
A poorly designed CBDC could pose multiple risks, which is why the IMF aims to create a comprehensive CBDC handbook as the foundation for capacity development.
An IMF staff report provided further insight into the upcoming handbook, stating that it will be primarily descriptive, offering information, experiences, empirical findings, and frameworks for evaluating CBDCs.
The handbook is expected to be completed within a four-to-five-year timeframe, with significant funding coming from Japan. The report presented a preliminary table of contents, outlining 19 chapters that will cover both policy and technical issues in broad sections.
As policymakers grapple with more specific questions related to CBDCs, the IMF’s advice has evolved to be more adaptive to individual country circumstances.
The report highlights that the guidance has become increasingly normative, anchored in policy experience and frameworks. The IMF will prioritize support for systemically important countries and those that are rapidly advancing CBDC developments but face high-capacity constraints or weak regulatory standards.
The resource aims to provide valuable information, experiences, and frameworks to help countries navigate the complex world of CBDCs. With targeted support and guidance, the IMF is working to ensure that countries can implement effective CBDC policies, preventing a digital divide and addressing potential risks.